Monday, 13 April 2015

Cuttings


Back in November when I was winter pruning the fruit bushes I thought I'd take a chance at getting some cuttings from them.

With the raspberrie canes I cleared all of last years growth leaving just this years shoots which will bear fruit this coming summer. With the black and redcurrant bushes I pruned more to give shape and structure to the plants as well as improve air circulation. The six strongest shoots from these were chosen to become new plants, three of each type. The cuttings were trimmed to about ten inches with diagonal cuts at the top and bottom done with as sharp a knife as possible to give the cleanest cut.

I then made a slit in the ground by pushing a spade in about six inches deep. The cuttings were then pushed into the holes ensuring that they were in contact with the soil at the bottom and of course making sure that they were the right way up, i.e. the way that they had been growing originally. It was all firmed down with my boot to ensure there was good contact.

I had seen it done this way on TV using root hormone powder to promote growth, but as I didn't have any and had no intention of going out and buying any I carried on without. I didn't have too much hope but there was nothing to lose. Where they are in the garden is a relatively unused patch where the chickens once were and in shade for half the day. I had no immediate plans for it like I have with most other areas so using it for cuttings was as good as anything else.

As the weather has now started to warm up buds are beginning to open on the trees, weeds are starting to poke through what has been bare ground for the past few months and early sowings planted more in hope than expectation are actually germinating. To my astonishment buds have appeared and opened on the fruit cuttings. They had been all but forgotten about through the winter, in fact only four remain where they had been knocked over when walked on by me or the ducks.


Of course this is fantastic news for so many reasons. I have successfully created a new plant for free from what would otherwise have gone on the compost heap. I have massively multiplied my harvest if not this year then definitely next year and I have improved the health and therefore the amount of fruit I will get from the parent plants.

The cuttings won't do too much this year with regards to fruit, they will be concentrating on producing strong roots and good top growth. The plants will be ready for digging up and planting in their final position at some point during July/August. I've now got to decide just where I can fit another four fruit bushes!

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